Blue Dolphin Lead Discovery LLC was founded in 2000 as a fee-for-service adjunct to academic work being conducted in the Shoichet Lab, then at Northwestern University. Much of the original work was conducted through Northwestern University itself by members of the lab. In 2003 the lab moved to UCSF, which discourages fee-for-service work, and consequently Blue Dolphin became entirely separate from the academic group. Blue Dolphin continues to use virtual screening technology developed by the Shoichet Lab, as licensed from UCSF. Projects undertaken by Blue Dolphin are vetted to ensure that they neither overlap with Shoichet Lab projects nor with IP held by the University of California. One of the purposes of the company is to continue to allow close collaborations with industrial groups. Blue Dolphin was co-founded by Drs. John Irwin and Brian Shoichet, both of whom have extensive experience in molecular docking, virtual screening and inhibitor design.